Ransomware Attack Against Bristol Airport Shows Need for Smart, Secure Digital Infrastructure in Transportation
This past weekend, a ransomware attack hit the U.K.'s Bristol Airport, increasing the stress and inconvenience of travelers trying to reach their destinations, forcing front-line staff to resort to manual, pen-and-paper systems while the airport’s IT team labored to contain the attack. An undisclosed ransomware strain hit Friday morning and took systems down through Saturday and into Sunday. While the cyberattack on Bristol targeted its administrative systems, the airport opted to take several vulnerable systems offline as a precautionary measure – including public-facing flight arrival and departure information monitors. As a result, airline staff had to update passengers via whiteboards and frequent public address announcements. The attack illustrates how the transportation industry and municipalities need to increasingly consider the risks of cyberattacks as connected vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and other technologies become integral to our transportation infrastructure.